Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Thursday during an online session of the Aspen Security Forum that NATO's position of neutrality regarding the strained Greek-Turkish relations was unacceptable
ATHENS (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 06th August, 2020) Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Thursday during an online session of the Aspen Security Forum that NATO's position of neutrality regarding the strained Greek-Turkish relations was unacceptable.
Athens accuses Ankara of constant provocations and violations of international law and demands that NATO takes its position on the matter. Earlier this year, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance intended to remain neutral on the Greek-Turkish relations, and invited the Greeks and Turks to resolve their disputes themselves, noting that NATO is not part of the problem-solving process.
"I think it is very clear to NATO that [its] position of neutrality � that we are dealing with two NATO members and, therefore, will not interfere � will no longer be acceptable to me," Mitsotakis said at the online session, as quoted by the Greek government's website.
According to the minister, Greece contributes to NATO and is an ally. When it feels that another NATO ally is behaving in a way that jeopardizes Greece's interests, NATO should not maintain a position of non-interference in internal disputes, the official said, adding that this is deeply unfair to Greece.
Relations between the two countries have long been strained by border tensions and Turkey's oil and gas exploration plans in the Mediterranean. In the latest standoff, the Turkish Petroleum Corporation announced plans to receive drilling rights in areas considered by Greece to be a part of its continental shelf and Athens slammed the move. Turkey's ambitious drilling plans were spurred by the signing of a controversial deal on maritime boundaries between Ankara and Libya's Tripoli-based government, which Athens said was yet another attempt to usurp Greece's sovereign rights.
Tensions between Ankara and Athens have been running high after Turkey started seismic research in July in the area of the Kastellorizo island, located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, which Greece views as part of its exclusive economic zone.
Greece also raised protests in the European Union, NATO, and the United Nations over Ankara's actions. Diplomats from both the United States and Germany have called on Turkey to suspend its planned drilling activity.